In high school I read Winesberg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson’s epic story series, and it blew my mind. It’s a quiet yet powerful short story series, each chapter telling the story of a member of the community, many of whom are isolated and craving connections that seem out of reach. Even though the book was written almost 100 years ago, Anderson taps into so much of simple human desires for connection that the stories feel contemporary.
This week I tapped into the quiet desperation of late winter and the isolation we all felt as we recuperated from nasty colds (yes, week 2). My first stories were more playful, but as the week went on I took a page from Sherwood Anderson and began to create a community: Widgets Landing. Yes, it’s a colony of humans and robots, but if anyone feels isolation, it must be a small team of folks hundreds of years from their home planet.
We meet Marvo, who might just be having a mid-life crisis, or is it something more sinister? By the end of the week, he found a home in Widgets Landing.
The Punchline puts three travelers together in the wrong time and place, specifically, Dover, DE. While not directly members of Widgets Landing, one or more of them might drop in for a visit.
What do toys do to exercise? Plastercize!
Now we meet the central characters of Widgets Landing, Spike and Harold.
My son got frustrated with a puzzle and tossed it. Making lemonade out of lemons, I introduced the story of Chevron and Alba, and the first mystery of Widgets End.
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Finally, I put it all together. My first drawing of Widgets Landing, and the connections are made.
Harold puts on his detective hat to help Chevron and Alba.